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Old 11-09-2014, 10:02 AM   #1
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External propane use

I've got a 2010 Sprinter, modified by Sportsmobile, to include propane tank for furnace and stove use. It's filled with an external fixture that propane dealers access. Sportsmobile is unable to provide any device that could facilitate the use of an external propane bottle, allowing for longer use of the appliances. Is such a modification even possible? My local dealer (general RV) looked at my arrangement and said he couldn't do it. I've been told that I need an attachment that connects directly to the place where propane is usually added, that I then attach to the external bottle. Has anyone successfully done this?

Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:51 AM   #2
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Re: External propane use

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Originally Posted by ricksonnenberg
I've got a 2010 Sprinter, modified by Sportsmobile, to include propane tank for furnace and stove use. It's filled with an external fixture that propane dealers access. Sportsmobile is unable to provide any device that could facilitate the use of an external propane bottle, allowing for longer use of the appliances. Is such a modification even possible? My local dealer (general RV) looked at my arrangement and said he couldn't do it. I've been told that I need an attachment that connects directly to the place where propane is usually added, that I then attach to the external bottle. Has anyone successfully done this?

Thanks.
So you want to plug in a different (smaller) bottle somewhere in the van? If that's the case I can see why SMB won't do it even though it can be done. From what I've been told is there are low and high pressure systems so it depends if the appliances are regulated at the appliance itself or at the main tank. Even little bottles are considered high pressure. I was told SMB regulates the system from the external tank which supplies low pressure throughout the inside of the RV and according to the propane company you can't run HP propane into a regulator and then through another regulator. But they do make high pressure quick disconnects that can be ran into SMB system before the regulator or added with another regulator and cut into the low pressure system... I have that myself. If I turn off the main tank I can use the supplied hose to power my stove from a portable tank. What I don't like about it is I never cut in a valve to kill that inlet. An O-ring is all that keeps it from leaking but it's probably no different then the stock inlet. I'm not exactly sure what keeps propane from running backwards out of the on board tank. An O-ring? Another issue is when plugging into or disconnection the spare tank, some propane is vented.

If I want to use a small Coleman type tank, I have an adapter that can be used but those small tanks are almost useless IMO and only do in a pinch.
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Old 11-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #3
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Re: External propane use

This is an odd arrangement from the sounds of it? Are you suggesting that you would have two tanks feeding the system? A couple thoughts jump out at me about this. First of all, more connections means more places to leak and nearly ALL connections leak something. Secondly, if you have the second tank, why not connect directly until it is empty, then just switch tank connection? I'd assume that if you are using it for heating or grilling, you would get plenty of usage out of it and would not expect to have to switch tanks during dinner prep.

Just some thoughts, I like the idea of being able to be disconnected longer though!
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: External propane use

You need something like the Extend A Stay kit that allows you to connect an external tank to your motorhome system, something like this...

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/lp-g ... e-kits.htm

Not sure if the original Extend A Stay is still being sold.

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Old 11-09-2014, 12:31 PM   #5
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Re: External propane use

I installed a 'T' fitting like that to go the other way, so I could get high pressure gas out to an external grill. You would have to set the aux tank outside and tap in thru the propane access door - safer that way anyhow.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:52 PM   #6
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Re: External propane use

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmchugh
You need something like the Extend A Stay kit that allows you to connect an external tank to your motorhome system, something like this...

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/lp-g ... e-kits.htm

Not sure if the original Extend A Stay is still being sold.

Greg McHugh
2008 Roadtrek RS Adventurous
SMB sells those (or did) but if the idea is to use a small Coleman tank as a backup, I wonder how well the propane would transfer to the larger main tank??? Ive noticed those smaller tanks are prone to poor output in cold weather and it seems like you'd be trying to dump the contents of the little tank into the larger one after the on board tank empty. Wonder if anybody has tried it? It's not an issue for me... I just turn off the main tank valve and plug into the secondary. To tell the truth I've only used it a few times and am thinking of ripping it out. Like posted, more connections make for more possible issues down the road. If the idea is to use a BBQ type tank I'd think the extenda stay would be a good choice.
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